Posts Tagged ‘opinion’

Here’s the deal. A few days ago I got a coupon in the mail for one dollar off my purchase of –

milk-2

 

I have no idea what a2 milk is. I’ve never heard of it before. Then again, the dairy case at my grocery store gets more confusing every day. The choice used to be: whole, 2%, 1% or skim. And, to be honest, I didn’t even fully understand these choices. 2% of what? Or is it 2% milk…and, in that case, what’s the other 98%? Generally these choices were color coded and I typically made my decision based on which hue I found most appealing.

Now, of course, there’s almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, cashew milk, rice milk, and many, many more. I don’t have the faintest notion as to how one gets milk from an almond – but this stuff is increasingly popular, so I can only suppose that someone out there is sitting on the world’s tiniest stool and placing the world’s tiniest bucket under an almond and milking it.

Every day I hear a report that one of the above is healthiest for me, followed by a report the following day that reveals that the previous day’s report was entirely incorrect and I should, in fact, drink something else entirely. Meanwhile, all I want is for my cereal not to be dry.

Remember those simple days when the milkman would drop off a bottle every Sunday? Me either. But I’ve seen it in movies. The milkman dressed from head to toe in white with a cool milkman hat and a smile that is borderline creepy in its excessive joy. Regardless, it was certainly a simpler time. The milkman never asked if you wanted unsweetened vanilla flavored soy coconut milk. He never asked anything. He just kept smiling and incessantly bringing you bottles of milk…come to think of it, I don’t recall ever having asked him to brink milk. What’s with that guy?

I’m way off track. The point is, there are too many milk options. I don’t need this many choices. And now, I’ve got an inexplicable coupon for a2 milk.

My coupon informs me that this particular milk comes from “cows that naturally produce only the pure A2 protein.” As if that is at all helpful.

It further offers the following diagram –

milk

So, apparently, regular milk comes from half gray, half purple bovines, whilst this new and improved product comes from the special all-purple cows. What kind of madness is this? I’m supposed to go buy something I’ve never heard of based on a barnyard coloring book? This is the least informative graphic ever.

You know, I don’t care if the milkman was psychotic, I just want someone to bring me a refreshing liquid to pour on my cereal tomorrow morning. I don’t want to have to search through the dairy case like it’s a Where’s Waldo book. I don’t want to have to compare and contrast the most recently milked nut. And I don’t want to have to figure out the difference between purple and multi-colored cows.

Screw it. I’ll just have oatmeal.

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Here’s the deal. Like a bear with a snooze button addiction, I’ve been on an eight-month blog hibernation. But nothing will wake you up in a cold sweat quite like the most alarming political candidate of a lifetime. But Donald Trump transcends politics. People can argue over political ideas. Fine. But this isn’t about that. Because he doesn’t have any political ideas. He has almost no ideas at all.

Look, all public figures misspeak and have gaffes. Over the course of years in the spotlight, mistakes will be made. But Trump is a whole different category. In researching this post I came across an article in Vanity Fair called, “Seven Terrifying Things Donald Trump Has Said in the Last 36 Hours.” Pretty incredible. This man says more ignorant, hateful, braggadocious things before breakfast than most people will say in a lifetime.

And what is Trump’s central qualification for this surreal presidential bid? His business success. He never tires of talking about how he makes great deals, how he’s the biggest, HUGEST, best businessman in the whole universe. But he doesn’t often talk about the forty million dollar inheritance that got him started. I don’t know about you, but I have a suspicion I might look a little more successful myself if I had a forty million dollar head start on life. His father gave him more money than most people see in a lifetime and made him president of his real estate company…being born ridiculously rich – that was by far the best deal Trump ever made. In fact, there was an article written about how Trump would be as or more rich today had he merely invested his inheritance…so he is exactly as successful as he would be had he not done a single thing.

Donald-Trump

But I’m not here to try and make a joke out of Trump – he’s doing a much better job of that himself than I could ever hope to do. I’m just here to assemble some of his verbal low points. And to reinforce the fact that, this November, Americans will have a very important, tough decision: whether to vote for Hillary Clinton, or to vote against Donald Trump.

  1. “I will be so good at the military, your head will spin.”

The great thing about Donald Trump is that he’s great at everything. EVERYTHING. And anything he’s not great at he will soon be the absolute best at. When asked a number of foreign affairs questions that he could not begin to answer, he simply reassured us all that, at some point in the future, he will know everything about everything. (If he has the power to immediately be the best at anything, I just don’t understand what he’s waiting for)

  1. “How do you define leadership? I mean, leadership is a very strange word because, you know, some people have it, some people don’t and nobody knows why.”

Exactly…except for the fact that volumes of books have been written about what makes a good leader. People will disagree, but a lot of thought has been given to this subject. It is, therefore, perhaps a little alarming that the man who is vying to be one of the most powerful leaders in the world has no real idea of what might make a good leader. Then again, I’m sure he’s confounded by strange words he can’t figure out on a daily basis.

  1. “I think I am actually humble. I think I’m much more humble than you would understand.”

Is he bragging about his humility? Donald Trump is the opposite of the Terminator. Instead of a machine that has become self aware, he is a human who is entirely unaware.

  1. “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters, okay? It’s, like, incredible.”

A wildly rare moment of clarity for Trump. Even he can’t believe what he’s getting away with.

  1. “Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure, it’s not your fault.”

Yes, a sure sign of intelligence is the constant insulting and belittling of everyone you come into contact with. Mocking the handicapped, judging every female only by appearance, insulting any and everyone who crosses him in even the slightest way – it all reeks of exceptional intellect. As we all know, Einstein was famous for wandering the streets and yelling about how stupid everyone else was.

  1. “Two Corinthians 3:17, that’s the whole ballgame.”

As you’ll likely remember, this is Trump speaking to the Christian Liberty University and claiming to be a HUGE God type guy. He later explained this unusual reading of the bible verse, “It’s a very small deal, but a lot of people in different sections of the world say two, and I’ve had many, many people say that to me. My mother, as you know, was from Scotland, and they say two.”

I agree with the beginning of his statement – it actually was a small deal. But the real problem here is that it perfectly demonstrates Trump’s complete inability to admit any mistake. Trump smacks us in the face daily with his glaring, obvious mistakes…and he defends each and every one of them like a toddler covered in cookie crumbs insisting he doesn’t even know what an Oreo is. It would be so easy to say that he misspoke, but instead he insists he was treating the audience to a Scottish interpretation of the scripture. And who are the “many, many people” who confirm each of his delusions? Oh, Donnie, you’re endless attempts to recover from your gaffes only makes you all the more ridiculous.

  1. “My fingers are long and beautiful, as, it has been well documented, are various other parts of my body.”

Trump is the first candidate since…ever…to twice refer to the size of his penis in presidential debates. (And did he just say that the size of his genitals are “well documented”? Does he have reams of reports on his girth stashed under one of his solid gold couches? Has he hired a journalist that dedicates all of his time to measuring Trump and typing up graphs? What the hell is going on here?) I have never known any human being so insecure (finally, something he actually is the best at). He can’t let any small criticism go, he has to fight to prove that every part of his personality and body is HUGE.

longfingers5555

  1. “I know words. I have the best words.”

I’m sure you do. If only you could just once remember to use them.

  1. “Happy Cinco de Mayo! The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics!”

This is a man who thinks that after claiming that the vast majority of all Mexican immigrants are criminals and worse, thinks that a picture of himself with a taco bowl will make everything all right. Reminds me of the time Roosevelt said, “Sorry about those Japanese internment camps. I’m eating sushi! I love Asians!”

  1. “She does have a very nice figure. I’ve said that if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.”

Not only is this one of the most disturbing things one can imagine a man saying about his daughter, it wasn’t even misunderstood or taken out of context. Trump states, “I’ve said that if Ivanka weren’t my daughter…” so the fact that he has thought about dating his own daughter is something that he talks about often. Dear Trump supporters, a few questions – How? What? Why? Holy shit, wwwhhhhyyyyy?

  1. “I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things.”

This was Trump’s response to the question of who he’s consulting on foreign affairs. Wow. It’s a humdinger. You’re absolutely right, Mr. Trump. You have said a lot of things.

Here’s the deal. Long term reader (I wish I could make that plural) of this blog are probably wondering – is the guy who typically writes about sporks, unicorns, states with boring shapes, pomegranates and yodeling about to write a humorous take on miscarriages? Yes. Yes he is.

Let me just say this – I firmly believe that there is no subject that cannot be joked about. That being said, the more serious the topic, the more careful one ought to be. It also lends more credibility if you have some experience with the subject matter. But finding a way to laugh through pain is an essential part of the human experience. That and root beer floats. At some point, everyone should have a really good root beer float.

Note: Even though I am constantly writing about my opinion on very silly things, I rarely have discussed any of my actual life in this blog. Everything that follows is real.

About two months ago, my fiancée peed on a stick. To be perfectly honest, she does this much more often than either one of us would admit to in polite company, but this time it was a special stick. A voodoo stick that can amazingly tell if the urine it’s absorbing is that of a pregnant woman or that of a non pregnant woman and/or confused man. When this magic stick said, “Pregnant urine!” I was immediately cautiously optimistic.

You see, the first time a stick delivered us such news (about 18 months ago), I was a little quick on the celebration. I believe I contacted my best friend and family members within three minutes of the pee stick’s verdict. Somehow, I had purchased a stroller within seven minutes. And was checking out colleges by the end of the hour. Unfortunately, the pee stick doesn’t know the future, and we experienced a miscarriage a couple of weeks later.

Until this happened to us, I had no idea how common they are. Correct or not, I took some solace in this fact. “Look,” I reasoned, “We weren’t singled out. Many, many people have experienced this.” Perhaps this is not logical, but if something bad happens to me that also happens to a lot of other people, I find it more reasonable – it had to happen to 20% of the people, I can’t expect to dodge all of life’s most common tragedies. But if, say, I were attacked by a Bengal tiger that had escaped from a travelling circus, I’d be quite miffed. “What are the odds?!?”  I would cry out in the ER room as they bandaged up the gash in my left thigh and tested me for various rare Bengal tiger type diseases. “No one gets attacked by an escaped Bengal tiger,” I would bemoan my fate, “I’m so freakin’ unlucky!”

Nonetheless, a miscarriage is not fun. It is sad. It’s as if, as potential parents, you begin to slowly inflate this balloon with all your hopes of an imagined future with this child, and then someone just walks up out of nowhere and pops your balloon. And there’s nothing you can do but slowly watch it deflate. What could have soared is gone in a moment. And, frankly, I was afraid it would happen again. Thus, I was cautiously optimistic.

Throughout all of October I found myself afraid of another miscarriage. I would cringe anytime she displayed any slight looks of discomfort. Yes, it was usually just gas (not her gas, mind you, it was her distress at having to suffer through mine), but I felt like any twinge of pain from her could be the bad news we both had ever present in the back of our minds. Plus I heard that a travelling circus had lost a Bengal tiger…

Look, I believe that a positive outlook can manifest itself physically, so we certainly didn’t dwell on the negative. Quite the opposite. We began to talk about names. She had a dream she was playing with our daughter. I put up a top-notch tiger fence.

And then it happened.

Bleeding. Pain. Emergency room.

Here’s the strange thing I’ve noticed about pain of all types – most everyone thinks that theirs is the worst. Most people wear their pain like badges, they like to say things like, “You can’t imagine what I’ve been through,” they like to secretly feel that their pain is extra special. I sometimes wonder if this isn’t part of the problems of our world. How often are we just using other’s suffering in order to compare it to our own?

You see, sitting in an emergency room with someone you love and watching them suffer is not an easy thing. For anyone. And we weren’t seen immediately. We had to wait for other people. Other people who had other pains. Of course there was part of me that just wanted to clear the room, I just wanted to make an announcement for everyone with their scrapes, and bruises, and aches to just get out of the way so that our pain could be attended to. Because pain makes you hopeless. It reminds us of how little control we have.

But she did get to see a doctor. And the pain (as it almost always does) dissipated. The physical pain goes first. The emotional pain lingers longer. But it all escapes eventually with the air from the popped balloon.

We were over two months pregnant this time, which made it more difficult. It felt more real before it was taken away.

But she’s okay. I’m okay. We’re okay. And I don’t feel like wearing my pain like a badge. Yes, I’m writing this and putting it out into the world. Perhaps it’s therapeutic. Part of me hopes it could possibly help someone else who’s experiencing something similar. And part of me just really liked the joke about me farting. But I’m not here to say, “Woe is me.” (I’m also not trying, by the way, to judge anyone who does have that response. It feels like a perfectly natural response to have.) I didn’t even realize when I started writing this…but what I want to say (speaking only for myself) is that my pain is not special.

My pain is not special.

And by saying that, I’m not trying to diminish or fail to recognize the loss. I cried. I had heart ache. That was real. But it’s not unique to me. I don’t get to own that pain alone.

I just think that maybe there’s an outside chance that this is a good way to view the world. That this might help us relate to each other a little better. My mom has a unique way of virtually always finding the positive in a situation. I’m not as accomplished in this arena, but I try and do it when I can.

So I try to see the positive.

And I’ll try to share that feeling.

And, honey, I’ll try and fart a little less.

Here’s the deal. People have called my last post: “A series of words”, “Somewhat coherent”, and “Available on the Internet.” That’s right, it’s one of my most popular ever. It even garnered over zero comments! So I’d be crazy not to produce a sequel. And now, your wait is over…

Top Ten Musical Questions – Asked and Answered, Part II

11. “How many roads must a man walk down?” Fourteen.

10. “Have you ever seen the rain?” Of course. Haven’t you?

9. “Is it me you’re looking for?” Actually…no. I was looking for Susan. Is she home?

8. “You down with OPP?” More or less.

7. “What would you think if I sang out of tune?” Don’t worry, I wouldn’t think poorly of you. I’m well aware of the fact that singing in tune is no easy task. Don’t beat yourself up, buddy.

6. “Do you know the way to San Jose?”

san jose

5. “Why are there so many songs about rainbows?” There aren’t. This is the only one I can think of. Oh, Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Fine. There are two songs about rainbows. That’s not very many.

4. “Isn’t it ironic?” No. Not a single one of your examples is ironic.

3. “What’s new pussycat?” This fabulous flea collar for one. Thanks for noticing.

2. “How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat?” Easy. You just eat the pudding. It’s okay. You’re with friends. No one’s going to judge you. We don’t care how much meat you ate, if any. Enjoy your pudding.

1. “Where have all the flowers gone?” They’re probably with the cowboys.

 

Here’s the deal. Friends recently introduced me to this awesome thing called the internet. It’s on computers and some phones. It’s full of funny videos, cats, and people you almost remember from high school…look, my words don’t do it justice, you should just check it out for yourself.

Unfortunately, in addition to being the greatest thing ever, the internet is also quite terrible. And some argue that all of our screen time is making us stupider and badder writers and stupider. Take, for instance, WikiHow. How silly are most of the how-to articles on this site? So silly that I titled this blog post “Part I” not knowing what my hypothetical Part II would consist of, but confident that this site would provide ample fodder.

WikiHow features such essential articles as “How to Check Out a Library Book” in 6 easy steps. That’s 100% true, there is an article that stretches this process to six steps. I can simplify the process a little – How to Check Out a Library Book in 1 easy step: Check Out a Library Book.

Or how about “How to Rip Paper” (also in 6 steps). This article begins with the wise words, “Have you ever needed/wanted to shred unwanted documents, homework, junk mail or papers the right way, without a pair of scissors or a paper shredder on hand? Now you can!” Okay…is there really a human being anywhere on the planet who has a pile of paper they need ripped and can’t figure out how to do it? A single one? A solitary organism that could find this article even remotely useful? Their target audience is nobody.

But I’m going to focus my energy today on the WikiHow article, “How to Make Friends.” As with the above examples, they include quite a bit of filler and stretch this one out to 24 steps. Unlike the above examples, there are some people who genuinely need help in this area. But, like the above examples, they will find no help in this article.

Let’s dig right in. Step 1. “Spend more time around people.” Are you taking notes? In order to make friends, you will need to be in the company of humans other than yourself. Great tip.

Steps 2 and 3. “Join an organization or club with people who have common interests/Join a sports team.”

ping pong

Or, apparently, invent a new sport. Such as a version of ping pong where two new friends stand next to each other and both serve a ball into play simultaneously.

Step 5. “Talk to people.” This actually helped me a lot. I used to try and make friends by walking up to them and then just staring at them with saying a word. Not terribly successful. I’ve begun to implement their speaking strategy and it’s really working out.

Step 7. “Start a conversation.” This is a bad sign. They’re only seven steps into a twenty four step article and they’re already repeating themselves. Sure, if you want to make new friends, try talking to people. And if that doesn’t work, try starting a conversation. They even offer conversation starters. For example, they suggest saying, “At least it’s not raining like last week.” Yeah, that’s a humdinger. If someone came up to me and said that, I think I will have found a friend for life. Another conversation starter from the geniuses at WikiHow, “Can you help me carry a few boxes?” That’s right, there’s no better way to make a friend than to go up to a total stranger and ask them to do manual labor for you.

Step 8. “Make small talk.” Seriously. I’m not making this up. They just keep suggesting that you talk to people.

Step 11. “Pursue common interests.” Wait, this sounds a lot like Step 2, where you “Join an organization or club with people who have common interests.” Did they think we would have forgotten already as it was nine steps ago?

nose

“Hi, do you want to talk and start a conversation about a common interest?”

“Yes, I can see that we both are missing noses. Shall we make small talk about this, potential friend?”

Step 15. “Be a good friend.” About a third of the steps in this article are more about how to act towards your friends than how to make a new friend. I imagine that in the WikiHow article How to Shop for a New Car, they would provide such advice as – park your car in the garage to protect it from the elements.

minotaur

“Even though you’re a minotaur, I’m going to be a good friend to you. Let’s go drive my car I need to shop for.”

Step 22. “Be confident.” This is the closest they ever got to being helpful. Feelings of inadequacy and self-esteem issues could actually prevent people from making new friends. Unfortunately, WikiHow took a topic that therapists could deal with for years and reduced it to a two word solution. Thanks, WikiHow, now that you’ve told me to be confident, I’m fully equipped to be confident. It’s like that time you cured my fear of heights by telling me not to be afraid of heights.

So that’s the problem with WikiHow, they take an issue and simultaneously oversimplify the important parts while endlessly repeating the obvious points. And the pictures are kind of creepy.

So, if you want to make new friends, all you really have to do is spend time around people and talk to them. That is, as soon as you finish using the internet to scroll through a 24 step article about how you need to get out more.

Here’s the deal. There are roughly fifty states in America. And each state has at least four cities. But that’s no excuse for lazy city naming. For example, twenty-eight states have a city named after the state (New York, NY, Kansas City, KS, et.) – is there any way to put less effort into naming your city? Why not just call it City City? Pitiful. Then there’s Alabama, NY, Montana, WI, Alaska, NM, New Mexico, MD, Texas, NY, and New York, TX. Seriously? There are so many words out there, why do we keep using the same ones over and over? Thirty-five states have a Greenville. Look, if I was that 35th state, I think I might have raised my hand and suggested a name that wasn’t already a city in every other state – at least change the color. Magentaville has a ring to it.

Fortunately, some cities have stepped up to the plate and come up with truly interesting and unique names. Lest I be accused of xenophobia, first let me acknowledge the three international honorable mentions.

Top Three International Best City Names

3. Humpty Doo, Australia

2. Moose Factory, Canada

1. Middlefart, Denmark

And now, the moment virtually none of you have been waiting for…

Top Ten Best U.S. City Names

11. Humptulips, WA – States need not feel the pressure to have their city names make any kind of sense, just put some sounds together and see what happens.

10. Ninety Six, SC – And when you can’t come up with an original word, try using a number. This city name is even more interesting as no one seems to have any idea where it came from…they got 96 problems but an unoriginal town name ain’t one.

9. Disco, IL – You have to have big disco balls to name your city after a seventies dance craze. My fingers are crossed for The Hustle, Oklahoma.

8. Toad Suck, AR – What happens in Toad Suck…no, really, it’s a question – what does happen in Toad Suck?

7. Nothing, AZ – Actual sign outside of the city: “Town of Nothing Arizona. Founded 1977. Elevation 3,269 feet. The staunch citizens of Nothing are full of Hope, Faith, and Believe in the work ethic. Through the years these dedicated people had faith in Nothing, hoped for Nothing, worked at Nothing, for Nothing.” Unfortunately, the town was recently abandoned and there’s now nothing there.

6. Pee Pee, OH – I try to be mature. I try to be an adult. But, come on, a place called Pee Pee? That’s almost as good as Middlefart. So, if you go to Ohio, you can actually visit an area where over seven thousand people live in Pee Pee.

5. Nimrod, AR – Do we call them Nimrodians? Nimrodites? Or just plain Nimrods?

4. (tie) Why, AZ and Whynot, MS – The question so many people have asked when moving to the Southwest…”Why Arizona?” And the answer to why people choose to live in Mississippi – why not?

3. Zzyzx, CA – Probably the most fun to say on the list. And points for not worrying about being at the bottom of an alphabetical grouping.

2. Unalaska, AK – This is the exact opposite of NY, NY. It’s Unalaska, Alaska. How is it possible? It’s simultaneously Alaska and not Alaska. I like it. 

1. Monkey’s Eyebrow, KY – Strangely specific and entirely nonsensical. We have a winner.

Here’s the deal. I don’t like ice. Not a fan. I’ll tell you why…

(11) Ice expands. In my book, this makes ice a self-important jerk. “Look at me,” ice demands as it puffs out its chest. Really, ice? Breaking up rocks, destroying plumbing, warping Tupperware everywhere…all to announce your presence. We get it. You’re a big shot.

(10) Ice lends its name to the coldest, and thus worst, type of skating.

(9) Ice takes up all of the space in my drinks. If you order a soda with ice, you’re actually ordering a glass of ice with a small side of beverage. I don’t need my liquids to be that cold. Stay out of my drinks, ice.

(8) Ice hurts. As a young lad, I accompanied my mother to the small, local grocery store one hot summer afternoon. As she purchased necessities, I wandered off to a section that had delicious pints of ice cream…and that’s when I saw it…somehow, a bit of ice cream had leaked out on to the metal shelving that held this cool, cool treat. As any reasonable child would do, I opened the door and tried to lick that  ice cream…and I suppose you know what happened next. (For the record, I am not confusing a classic scene from A Christmas Story with my life – this actually happened to me). Yes, my tongue stuck to the frigid metal. And yanking myself free was painful. And ice is a jerk.

(7) Ice is way too slippery. We’re trying to walk here, ice. What did we ever do to you?

a single vanilla ice cream sandwich

Sweet dairy cream sandwich.

(6) Ice is a meanie. Did you know that there is a disease called ice-ice. No. No you didn’t. Bu now you do. According to Wikipedia, “Ice-ice is a disease condition of seaweed. Ice-ice is caused when changes in salinity, ocean temperature and light intensity cause stress to seaweeds.” What are you doing picking on seaweed? Seaweed is just floating around, minding its own business and you’ve got to screw with it. Seaweed was living a pretty stress-free life. No bills, no job, no looming briny deadlines. Until ice-ice. The disease so not nice-nice, they named it twice-twice.

(5) Ice is the least interesting state of matter of water.

(4) Ice tries to disparage ice cream. How dare you, ice? Now you’ve gone too far. Look at the ingredients list of your favorite ice cream. There’s no ice in it. Stop messing with our minds, ice. Ice cream is delicious and ice-free. The only time ice cream wasn’t delicious was when I tried to lick it off of a frozen, metal shelf…and that was your fault too. It’s sweet dairy cream, not ice cream. What’s next? Ice cookies? Ice puppies? Ice rainbows? Just stop it, ice. Keep your name off our good stuff.

(3) Ice makes diamonds seem less valuable.

(2) Ice is a no-no. Who loves ice more than hockey players? (Don’t answer that. The last thing I need right now is some nut sending me an in-depth list of people who love ice more than hockey players. I’ve got looming briny deadlines over here). Yet even the hockey lovers know the truth. Because what is icing? It’s an infraction in hockey. Icing is when you put the puck in the non puck zone and the skating player guy hits it too hard and then they have to go to the penalty box and someone throws an octopus on the ice and I think there’s a Zamboni…I don’t know how it works, but even the hockiers know that ice is bad.

(1) Ice tries to ruin everything. For example, vanilla is great. Vanilla Ice is not so great.